- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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One of the biggest requests we get in our AFC East inbox and on Twitter is to grade a team's 2012 NFL draft. It's something that's popular, but I usually avoid it because a lot can happen. Players underachieve, players overachieve, players get injured, etc.
But the question prompted another idea that came to mind this week. Why not grade AFC East drafts from three years ago? That's more fair and accurate.
So throughout the week we're going to grade the 2009 drafts of the division's teams. Monday we start with the Buffalo Bills.
Here were their picks:
Round 4: TE Shawn Nelson
Round 5: LB Nic Harris
Round 6: DB Cary Harris
Round 7: DB Ellis Lankster
The good: The Bills got value and production with three of their top picks -- Wood, Byrd and Levitre. They are all full-time starters and part of Buffalo's foundation. Wood and Levitre are borderline Pro Bowl players and should be good for a long time. Byrd is a playmaker in the secondary. These are the kind of solid players you want in the first two rounds.
The bad: Maybin sticks out like a sore thumb in this draft. The Bills were enamored with Maybin and took him No. 11 overall. He turned out to be one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory in the AFC East. On top of that, Maybin was cut by Buffalo last year and played well in a new system with the rival New York Jets. Nelson, although a fourth-round pick, showed early promise but never did much after his rookie year.
Final grade: B
On Tuesday we will grade the 2009 draft of the Miami Dolphins.